NameSilo Staff

What Is Shared Hosting?

Web hosting is a service that enables businesses and individuals to post a website or web page onto the internet – it’s as easy as that. A web hosting service provider is a company that provides the needed services for your website to be viewed on the internet. 

To simplify it a bit – every website you access is hosted or stored on special computers called servers. So, when a particular user wants to view your website, the user has to type your website address or domain into their browser. As a result, their computer will connect to your server and your webpage is going to be delivered to the user through their browser. 

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In order to publish your website online, your website needs to be hosted somewhere. The most simple and affordable way to get your website running is through shared hosting. Being by far the most cost-effective option out there, the majority of people looking to launch a new website tend to go with this type of hosting. 

Even though it’s considered as entry-level service by some professionals, shared hosting is more than adequate for most of the websites out there.

Defining Shared Hosting

The key to understanding shared hosting lies right there in the name. Also known as virtual hosting, shared hosting is a way to host your site on a single physical server that also hosts other sites at the same time. You can think of it as renting a workstation in a noisy, busy, open-plan office or co-working space. 

You get all the conveniences you need such as a desk, internet connection, and some stationary but you share the space with other co-workers.. With many users utilizing the resources of a single server, this joint platform makes shared hosting the most cost-effective and popular option of all the web hosting setups. 

Photo source: TopHostCoupon

Each user of the server gets a section in which they can host their website files and data. With servers hosting hundreds of clients at the same time, each user gets a percentage of everything the server offers. This way, the costs of maintaining the server are split among all the users hosting their websites on it, making shared hosting the most inexpensive option on the market. This style of web hosting is perfectly suited for small websites and blogs that don’t require high bandwidth or advanced configurations. 

How Does Shared Hosting Work? 

As previously mentioned, shared hosting happens when a single server hosts multiple websites. The number of users can range from a few hundred to several thousand, heavily depending on available hard drive space of the server, processing speed and RAM. Each user on a shared server gets an allotment of the server’s total available bandwidth, power, and memory, and users are able to set up multiple sites under a single user account. 

Each shared hosting plan is linked to a machine that’s practically identical to a dedicated server, with the only difference being that the resources of that server are used by multiple users simultaneously. Each user’s files and applications are stored in separate partitions on the server and each one runs its own file directory tree. 

When someone requests access to your website from their computer, the stored data and files of your website are sent from the server to the internet user. Since each website generates different amounts of traffic, shared hosting takes advantage of a server’s optimal utility. 

Benefits Of Shared Hosting 

There are numerous benefits and advantages to shared hosting and why it may be the most suitable solution on the market for your website. Shared hosting is a great option for website owners with a small budget and for people who are taking their first steps in getting their website up and running. Keep in mind that you can also always upgrade to another more advanced hosting package later on if you see fit, so you’re not stuck with the shared option forever. Here are the fundamental features of shared web hosting: 

  • Flexible. You can always choose a plan that fits the needs of your website. In time, if you need another website, more cloud storage, or more FTP users, you can always upgrade to a plan that better accommodates your needs. 
  • Cost-effective. As we mentioned before, the final cost for the customers is low due to multiple users splitting the costs of the server. 
  • Easy setup. Setting up your website on a shared server is easy and quick. The whole shared hosting experience is designed to support the less tech-savvy customers so each one can run their own website with minimum technical knowledge. 
  • Simple maintenance. The virtual hosting server is maintained by your host provider so you can stay focused on growing your website rather than installing software updates and dealing with bugs. 
  • Security. Even though space and resources are shared on the server, your files and data are certainly not. Other users utilizing your shared server cannot access any of your website’s data and files. Also, most of the web hosting companies provide features that defend your website against cybersecurity threats as well. 

How To Determine If Shared Hosting Is Suitable For Your Website 

Establishing a website is known to be both a thrilling and daunting experience. At the very beginning, choosing the right web hosting package is important so that you can establish a decent foundation for the development of your website. Unless you plan to go aggressive on large-scale marketing campaigns from the very start, shared hosting will generally fit perfectly in terms of the user traffic that will achieve at the beginning of your website as you start to scale it up. 

Once you’re up and running, you will get a better sense of when your website needs to have an update, whether it’s bandwidth or data storage based on your user traffic. Starting on a shared hosting plan is generally a good idea to save you money in these early stages and allow you to focus on scaling your traffic.

Shared hosting is the right choice for your website if you: 

  • Work on a small budget and want to keep the costs down
  • Have little to no experience with web hosting as this is your first major project
  • Are creating a small business website 
  • Are currently studying apps like WordPress
  • Are experimenting with coding and web design 

Shared Hosting Packages

Different hosting providers offer different shared hosting plans. You should always go with a plan that is suitable for your business in terms of needed data storage, bandwidth, privacy protection, number of hosted domains and subdomains, backups, and more. At NameSilo,  shared hosting plans start at $2.39 per month depending on exact configurations you choose and whether you bill monthly or yearly. 

All shared hosting plans come with free Positive SSL certificates for one year, meaning your website will be secured when it comes to credit card transactions, logins, and data transfers. SSL certificates provide security to your website and are vital when it comes to protecting your sensitive and personal information. SSL certificates keep your online interactions and transactions private through encryption and give your customers confidence. Since Google rewards websites that are more secure, having an SSL on your site will help your Google SEO rankings tremendously. 

To ensure that you can get assistance whether just starting out or  experiencing some serious issues, ensure that your web hosting provider offers 24/7 Live Support. It’s very important to have access to their dedicated hosting experts when you need their help, instead of during designated support hours which may not fit your schedule. 

In order to represent your website correctly and help manage communication, ask your host provider whether they can provide you with a domain-based email address. This way, you can add email accounts, enable auto-responses, create mailing lists, set up forwarding, and more with your domain name instead of a generic address. 

Best of luck with your hosting! 

About the Author:

NameSilo Staff

The NameSilo staff of writers worked together on this post. It was a combination of efforts from our passionate writers that produce content to educate and provide insights for all our readers.

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